Close to one percent of the American population — or just over two million people — has some form of limb loss. With modern advancements in science, medicine, and technology, a grand majority of limbs lost cab be replaced with a prosthetic, or artificial limb.
A prosthesis can last for many years, although there are instances in which one would need to be replaced. As a person who wears an artificial limb, it's important that you know the signs that you've outgrown your current prosthetic fitting so you get the best quality of life possible. Here are signs you should be fitted for new prosthetics; your orthopedist will assess your current prosthesis situation and fit you for a new prosthetic limb accordingly.
You've changed in physique
One of the most common reasons for needing a new prosthetic limb is this: the patient has grown in physique and no longer fits their current prosthesis. On average, an original prosthetic can fit you for a year or so, but as your body changes, so will your prosthesis needs.
If you find your prosthetic is becoming loose lately, is rubbing on your skin, or is becoming uncomfortable to wear and you've changed in physique — such as height or weight — in recent months, speak to your orthopedic surgeon or orthopedic specialist. You may need to be fitted for a new prosthetic that fits your growing frame.
Continued growth may mean you'll likely have to be fitted for another prosthetic in the future, but if you're done growing and your prosthetic is suiting you well, expect the artificial limb to last up to five years.
You're ready for an upgrade
As technology changes, so do the ways that prosthetics are designed and applied to the body. If you're ready for a sleek and modern prosthetic or your current artificial limb is older and ready for an upgrade, speak to your orthopedist about the possibility of getting a new prosthesis.
Some prosthetics are designed more for comfort than they are functionality or vice versa. If your current lifestyle is too much for your current prosthetic to keep up with, then it's time to upgrade to a style and model of artificial limb that works best for you.
The cost of prosthetics varies, so get advice from your health insurance provider as well as your orthopedist before moving forward. A new artificial limb can change your quality of life and make you more independent and mobile than ever before.
For more information about prosthetics, contact a company like Bio Tech Prosthetics and Orthotics.